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Senior Programme Manager

Yangon (Myanmar)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Yangon (Myanmar)
  • Grade: IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2020-02-20

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Background Information - Myanmar

Myanmar is one of UNOPS’ leading offices in Asia, acting as fund manager for three of the largest development programmes in the country, namely the Access to Health, the Livelihood and Food Security Fund (LIFT) and the Joint Peace Fund (JPF). In addition, UNOPS is Principal Recipient for the Global Fund in Myanmar and for the Global Fund’s regional artemisinin-resistance initiative targeting drug resistant malaria in the greater Mekong sub-region. UNOPS also provides procurement, infrastructure and project management services to a wide range of organizations in the country, including the Government of Myanmar, international development partners, other UN agencies, NGOs and INGOs. UNOPS plays a critical role in ensuring that the quality of services provided to its partners meets stringent requirements of speed, efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Background Information - Job-specific

The European Union (EU) has established the Humanitarian Development Peace Nexus Response Mechanism (Nexus Mechanism) programme to allow innovative, tailor-made, flexible, rights-based activities along the humanitarian-development-peace spectrum in Myanmar States and Regions in protracted crisis and/or conflict-affected.   

The overall objective of this European Union funded programme is to contribute to lasting peace and national reconciliation, security, stability and sustainable development in Myanmar by reducing vulnerabilities and building the resilience of communities affected by conflict or natural disasters. It specifically aims at providing support to conflict-affected populations, displaced populations, host communities, and returnees by strengthening the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.

 As part of the support for socio-economic recovery in conflict-affected areas, a strong emphasis will be given to alleviating inter-communal and politically induced tensions, providing durable solutions and addressing serious human rights concerns: the systematic integration of Rights Based Approach (RBA) while meeting immediate needs, will be pivotal to all aspects of programme implementation in order to assure principled, inclusive, non-discriminatory and needs based interventions. Human Rights protection and promotion will be at the core of the action: all actions will be screened against strict due diligence criteria specific for the Myanmar context for assuring principled engagement, limiting the potential to perpetuate harmful practices. The Nexus Mechanism will rely on an incremental and adaptive approach to enable the EU to respond to sudden needs and the changing operational conflict context. Pool funding will allow the programme to address humanitarian and development needs in protracted crisis situations while supporting longer term durable solutions. Decision making will follow procedures designed to ensure that the humanitarian, development and peace perspectives are taken into consideration. Finally, the action will strengthen the capacity of the EU to conduct context specific conflict analysis tailored to the evolving needs.  UNOPS will act as the Secretariat of the Nexus Mechanism and manage the programme. The programme commenced in January 2020 and is expected to continue operations until December 2023.

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

The Senior Programme Manager will provide leadership, strategic direction and promote best practice in the performance and delivery of this innovative and challenging programme. The Senior Programme Manager is the head of the programme team which includes professionals in M&E, grants, programme management and support.

Under the overall supervision of the UNOPS Myanmar Director and Representative and working closely with the Nexus Steering Committee, the Senior Programme Manager will be responsible for:

Functional Responsibilities

 Stakeholder Management:

  •  Establish solid working relationship with the Steering Committee, Advisory Board, current and potential partners and key stakeholders

  •  Manage the Secretariat communications and ensure stakeholders are aware of the Programme activities, progress, exceptions

  • Advise the partners on issues that may impact the achievement of their outcomes

  •  Manage the information flows between the Steering Committee, the UNOPS Director and Representative  and the UNOPS team dedicated to the Programme

  • Act as UNOPS Myanmar focal person for Nexus-related matters towards the Government, UN partners, donor, civil society and implementing partners.

 Delivery and Performance:

  • Implement approved programme plans (including the establishment of milestones) within tolerances set by the Steering Committee

  • Advising the Steering Committee on issues such as project selection and financial operations such as budgets, cash flow and expenditure.

  • Support design and formulation of bankable projects in line with EU Delegation to Myanmar Due Diligence Criteria and assure projects are transformative.

  •  Ensuring principles of human rights, conflict sensitivity, gender equity, peace, voice and accountability, ‘doing no harm’ and aid effectiveness in all activities associated with the programme.

  • Manage delivery of the programme’s outputs, taking responsibility for overall progress and use of resources and initiating corrective action where necessary

  • Managing the programme to ensure performance in the areas of finance (budget/cash flow/expenditure), work planning and resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), programmatic/administrative (including audit results) and procurement operations.

  • Authorize, monitor and control work packages to be delivered by the UNOPS team or grants by implementing partners

  • Advise the Steering Committee and UNOPS Director and Representative of deviations that have or will exceed set tolerances as approved in the programme plan

  •  Identify and manage risks so that maximum benefit to client and stakeholders is achieved

  •  Monitor and evaluate the performance of service providers from a fiduciary and contract management perspective

  • Control risks to UNOPS internal business case and take corrective action

  •  Represent UNOPS at Steering Committee meetings as the H-D-P Nexus Mechanism Secretariat on a periodic basis in order to discuss key issues and propose solutions to fiduciary and operational challenges that arise

  •  Monitor progress of the programme at a strategic level and ensure periodic progress and updates are made to the Steering Committee


  • Ensure compliance with UNOPS organizational policy

  • On behalf of UNOPS, contribute to the development of the Annual Work Plan for approval by the Steering Committee

  • Ensure all reporting requirements as per legal agreement as well as internal UNOPS rules are met 

  • Maintain critical programme records / documents on the UNOPS Google Shared Drive (online audit / record retention folder)

  • Ensure that all Programme activities comply with UNOPS Financial Regulations and Rules (FRR)

  • Manage budgets, cash flow and obligations to ensure that deliverables are met and payments to contractors, grantees/ implementing partners and personnel are received on time

  • Understand and manage UNOPS pricing policy and related corporate charges as they apply to the Programme

  • Ensure implementing partner capacity is commensurate with funding requirements

  • Understand the structure and approaches of the UN and budget appropriately for personnel

  • Manage and remain accountable for expenditures against the budget (based on accurate financial reports)

  • Ensure appropriate measures have been documented in a Closure Plan to facilitate the transition of operations in the final stage of delivery

 Knowledge Management:

  • Participate in relevant UNOPS Communities of Practice

  • Actively interact with the PM community to share case studies, lessons learned and best practice

  • Provide feedback to HQ Groups Leads on policy, supporting guidance with an aim towards continuous improvement of UNOPS policies complete lessons learned as per reporting format

  • Contribute to EU’s knowledge management initiatives to document the Nexus pilot in Myanmar 

  •  Further duties may be identified throughout the implementation period

Personnel Management:

  • Managing personnel and ensuring  behaviour consistent with UN values.

  • Ensure that performance reviews are conducted

  • Take part in selection, recruit and assure training of the team as required by programme plans

  • Ensure safety and security for all personnel and comply with UNDSS standards

 Monitoring and Progress Controls

The Senior Programme Manager will report to the UNOPS Director and Representative and make contributions as per these TOR. The Senior Programme Manager will also work collaboratively with the Steering Committee and the Advisory Board. A work plan will be formulated and agreed between the Senior Programme Manager, the Advisory Board, and the Steering Committee with clearly defined outputs, milestones and reporting requirements.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent), preferably in law/human rights, social science, international development, business administration, public administration,  international relations or related areas is required.

  •  Bachelor’s Degree with Additional 2 years of relevant work experience to the above duties and responsibilities may be accepted in lieu of Master Degree.

  • PM Certification such as PRINCE2® or MSP® or PMP® is an asset.                 

 Work Experience 

  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively relevant working experience is required and out of this at least 5 years in conflict analysis, peace building and reconciliation, recovery and livelihoods, humanitarian response or humanitarian-development- peace nexus or related areas is required.

  • Solid experience managing programmes at a strategic level with financial oversight is desirable.

  • Solid practical experience in working with the UN, donors, Non-governmental organizations, public sector and/or civil society is required.

  • Proven track record of incorporating Human rights in programming and/or context analysis in a fragile state(s) and complex/protracted crisis is desirable.

  • Working experience and knowledge in Myanmar conflict affected areas - in particular Rakhine State - will be a strong asset. Previous experience in South and/or South-east Asia will also be an asset.

  • Knowledge of aid architecture is essential with previous experience working in Grants Management is desirable.

  • Solid experience of managing, or having worked in a senior position with a large multi-donor fund or programme is desirable.

Language Requirements: 

  • Fluency in English is required ;

  • Knowledge of an additional UN language is desirable.


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement  Contract level: IICA 3
Contract duration:  Ongoing ICA – 'Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.’

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.   

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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